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Index returns to negative territory

The MSE Equity Total Return Index returned to negative territory this week as it declined 0.6 per cent to wipe out last week’s gains. The equities’ market was dominated by selling pressure as out of 18 equities which were active, ten closed lower, while only two ticked higher.

An unimpressive total turnover of €0.85 million was registered over 144 transactions.

In the banking industry, Bank of Valletta plc (BOV) was responsible for a third of total turnover as 163,623 shares were exchanged over 55 deals.

In spite of this trading activity, the equity closed unchanged at €1.77. On Wednesday, BOV announced that further to the announcement that UniCredit S.p.A. has informed the bank of its intention to dispose of its total shareholding in the company.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also generated a substantial trading volume of 92,625 shares across 24 deals. Its share price however, was down by 0.58 per cent, closing at €1.70.

FIMBank plc and Lombard Bank Malta plc, both closed unchanged at $0.55 and €2.36 respectively, as trading volumes reached 31,129 over four deals and 1,254 shares respectively.

On Monday, International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) issued an update on the announcement issued in March regarding the management agreement signed by Corinthia Hotels Limited for the operation of a luxury property in Bucharest.

IHI announced this week, that QP Management Limited, another wholly owned subsidiary of IHI, has also been engaged by the owners of the project to manage the development in all technical respects, including project and cost management services.

The target completion date for the project has been set at December 2019. A total of 35,154 IHI shares traded over ten transactions, resulting in a 0.81 per cent decline to a price of €0.615.

Malta International Airport plc replicated the previous week’s performance as it drifted another 0.41 per cent lower, to €4.86. The equity traded 11 times as 17,315 shares changed hands.

A sole deal of 2,220 shares shaved a significant 2.7 per cent off the share price of MaltaPost plc, down to €1.80.

Similarly, Mapfre Middlesea plc traded on slim volume, as one deal of just 714 shares dragged the share price down by 2.86 per cent to €2.04.

After a week of inactivity, RS2 Software plc was quite active this week as 11 trades of a combined 34,707 shares were recorded.

The outcome was a 2.1 per cent loss in value, to a price of €1.40.

The company announced on Wednesday, that its board of directors is set to meet on April 25 in order to approve the audited financial statements for 2017.

Retail conglomerate PG plc fell 0.76 per cent to end the week at €1.30, as a result of six transactions in which 21,765 shares changed hands.

In the telecommunications sector, a single transaction of just 100 GO plc shares had no effect on the price of the equity as it traded flat at €3.50.

A total of three deals of 1,817 Simonds Farsons Cisk plc shares extended the equity’s negative streak to four straight weeks, as it was down by a further 1.46 per cent to €6.75.

On Wednesday, the company announced that the board of directors will be meeting on May 16 to consider and approve the financial statements for year ended January 31, 2018.

The only positive performers this week were both in the property sector, namely Plaza Centres plc and MIDI plc. The former advanced to €1.04 as trading volume totalled a substantial 103,900 shares over five transactions. The latter posted a gain to a price of €0.35c6.

The worst performer was also in the property sector, as the share price of Trident Estates plc dropped to €1.84.

Tigne Mall plc closed unchanged at €0.95 as three trades of a combined 13,028 shares recorded during midweek cancelled each other out. In the same sector, a deal of 700 Malta Properties Company plc shares was executed at last week’s closing price of €0.458.

The corporate debt market had quite a balanced week, as a total of 39 issues were active during the week of which 12 gained and 13 headed in the opposite direction.

The 5% GlobalCapital plc Unsecured €2021 headed the list of fallers, following a 2.74 per cent price decrease, to return to the €97 price level.

Similarly, the 6% AX Investments Plc € 2024 also surrendered all of the previous week’s gain to retract back to the €110 price level.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 4.35% SD Finance plc Unsecured € 2027 closed off the week at €104.30, translating to a gain of 1.25 per cent.

Yields in the sovereign debt market were predominantly down this week, as from a total of 22 issues which were active, 13 headed north and eight closed lower.

The longer dated issues closed generally higher, with the exception of the 2.4% MGS 2041 (I) which closed at €106.13.

The 3% MGS 2040 (I) logged the best performance as it pushed forward 0.45 per cent to €117.36.

On the other hand, the shorter-dated 5.1% MGS 2022(I) extended its negative streak to three weeks, as it fell by another 0.52 per cent to €120.75.

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